SanFranPreps.com Boys Basketball Top 10: Sacred Heart Cathedral widens the gap

The Sacred Heart Cathedral boys basketball team may have come up just short on the road against Mitty, but continue to show why they are the top team in the City. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Every week, we will be publishing our take on the top 10 boys and girls basketball teams in San Francisco. Feel free to make your own rankings and discuss ours in the comment section.

1. Sacred Heart Cathedral (15-2, last week’s ranking: 1)

The Irish started the week with two wins, the first against McClymonds (10-9) and the second against No. 2 Riordan, then went toe-to-toe with Mitty (14-3) on the road and nearly beat the Monarchs. Despite the loss, the Irish continue to impress, while widening the gap between themselves and the rest of the boys basketball programs in the City.

2. Riordan (9-8, with forfeits 4-13, last week’s ranking: 2)

We may ruffle some feathers with this decision, but we will continue to use Riordan’s on-the-court record for the purposes of the Top 10 rankings and in our game stories. Simply put, the player in question was eligible to play sports at the school, but an oversight by the athletic department forced the Crusaders to forfeit games. It may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it is the only consolation we can personally give to the Riordan players.

The Crusaders lost both of their games last week, against No. 1 Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Francis (11-6).

3. Mission (13-8, last week’s ranking: 4)

The Bears move up a spot after their first Academic Athletic Association loss of the season last week, but that loss comes with some context. Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya sat one starter for a half and another for the entire game in a one-point loss on the road to Galileo (10-9), then the Bears went on to beat Lowell (10-9), a ranked team last week, by 12 points. At full strength, the Bears have one of the most talented rosters in the City.

4. St. Ignatius (7-10, last week’s ranking: 5)

The Wildcats’ losing streak was extended to six games with losses to Serra (15-2) and Bellarmine (10-7) last week. Unfortunately for St. Ignatius, its offensive funk will not be aided by playing solid defensive West Catholic Athletic League squads.

5. University (12-8, last week’s ranking: 7)

The Red Devils are rolling and aren’t showing any signs of stopping. University pushed its winning streak to seven games with wins over Castlemont (7-6), No. 8 Stuart Hall and No. 10 Urban (10-8) last week.

6. Lincoln (11-11, last week’s ranking: 6)

The Mustangs went 2-1 last week, but it did not go smoothly. Their week began with a blowout victory over winless O’Connell (0-10), then came a close call against Burton (8-12), followed by a blowout loss on the road to a stout De La Salle (16-2) squad.

7. Lick-Wilmerding (11-8, last week’s ranking: 9)

The Tigers followed their worst stretch of games with one of their best weeks, featuring wins over Marin Academy (11-6) and No. 8 Stuart Hall last week to even their BCL West record.

8. Stuart Hall (14-5, last week’s ranking: 3)

The Knights slip five spots after two tough road losses to No. 4 University and No. 7 Lick-Wilmerding last week. Despite the big downward move on our list, we’re certainly not counting the Knights out at home in either matchup.

9. Marshall (7-10, last week’s ranking: NR)

The Phoenix make their first appearance in the Top 10 this season and are right in the thick of the AAA playoff race after two wins over previously-ranked Lowell and Galileo (10-9) last week. One concern going forward will be how their slim roster stands up through the rigors of the AAA season.

10. Urban (10-8, last week’s ranking: NR)

The Blues’ blowout wins over Valley Christian-Dublin (3-14) and Drew (2-14) last week may appear underwhelming, but with a close loss to University to round out the week and a previous win over No. 7 Lick-Wilmerding, Urban has shown it is for real.

On the brink: Lowell (10-9), Galileo (10-9), Washington (10-12), Balboa (14-7), Bay (11-7), Gateway (11-2), Waldorf (8-4)

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40 Comments

  1. JJ says:

    These rankings seem legitimate, but if Riordan loses to SI again on Wednesday, I wonder if SI will move up to the #2 spot.

    • jbalan says:

      Thank you for saying that, because this was the hardest week to rank teams, by far. 2-6 are interchangeable, as are #7 through all in the “on the brink” category teams. Tough, tough week.

    • SF_Mikey says:

      I attended the first SI – Riordan game and the talent level of SI exceeds Riordan IMHO. I don’t see the Crusaders beating them tomorrow night unless they shoot exceedingly well like they did against the Bellarmine which is highly unlikely. The Crusaders had no answer for Domingo posting down low and penetration by Dunbar last game and I suspect they won’t tomorrow night either.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree that SI has alot more individual talent than Riordan but Riordan plays better team ball. Also if you recall, Mabrey was something like 0-12 last game and the likelihood of that happening again is also very unlikely. I say the Crusaders win a close one. SI better win to at least tie Riordan for league wins. Wouldn’t it be something if all that “talent” comes in behind Riordan in WCAL play.

        • Anonymous says:

          SI is not playing well, but has talent for sure. Riordan can win if they play team ball. It is not about individuals SI, it is about TEAM. But if Riordan can beat SI, SI will be calling for Reardon’s head because as a coach you already have the athletes but you can’t get them to play together.

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t think that you can fully blame Coach Reardon because he is trying to still transition the team from being able to do whatever you want. When you have kids that think they are the best, it causes a lot of problems, especially when they have been given the reins by past coaches. Give him a year and let’s see how he does with the team next year.

  2. JesssicaNgai says:

    Go Marshall! (=

  3. Paul B. says:

    WOW!!! I can’t believe that the Lowell boys hoops team dropped out of the top ten for the first time that I can remember. Was their poor play last week the reason for Lowell’s dropping out of the top ten JB?

  4. AAA fan says:

    Is this based on which team has the most talent or who is performing well at the moment?

  5. GCJ 01 says:

    Great job Marshall!!!!! Good job with the polls JB. I appreciate the work that you and your staff do.

  6. Marshall Fan says:

    Let’s go MARSHALL!!!!

  7. RedStapler says:

    Polls look perfect in my opinion. The talent of teams is measured perfectly and if i had to guess before the season it would be this top 10.

    has lincoln and UNI played eachother just wondering??? i think that wud be an interesting high scoring game too.

    GOOD STUFF ONCE AGAIN JBALAN AND SANFRANPREPS!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      they have scrimmaged each other with the same group of guys, same starters and everything, Lincoln won every quarter including the 4th which was a 25 to 0 quarter

      • UHS says:

        We did scrimmage and played 5 quarters. Lincoln won 3 and UHS won 2. Lincoln did blow-out UHS in the 4th quarter but that is the qtr Harold Getz seriously sprained his ankle and as a result we played in a funk. We did come back and win the 5th qtr by 7 pts without Harold. Also for the record UHS won all 4 quarters by an aggregate 20 points vs. an El Camino team that beat SI by 10 points. That all being said scrimmages are not a great indicator of who is better because the coaches experiment and the subs play a lot more than in a usual game. UHS vs. Lincoln would be a good and entertaining game for sure.

  8. pf says:

    i think marshall will continue their winning streak with upcoming oppents isa,burton,wallenberg..

  9. Big guy 24 says:

    SI vs Riordan on Wednesday, last game was a good solid game up until Riordan went ice cold at the end. Some may say SI defense was good but I saw wide open shots being missed and Geru went 0 for everything including 2 break away open layups. On SI’s side I thought they should of pounded the ball inside to Aguilar at 6ft4 and strong as a man. I thought Dunbar played well and kept his head up the whole game. As far as talent SI has much more basketball IQ players, coach Buckner for Riordan is doing a good job getting everything out of what he has this year. Should be a good city rival game, good luck to both teams..

  10. Roll Cats says:

    Deciding factor in the Riordan SI game might be two guys that didn’t see much playing time the first time around: Aguilar and Loginoff. Both are senior posts, although Loginoff is athletic and can play guard as well and both will fit into the SI scheme as they try to find some more points in the paint against the undersized Crusaders. With the way both teams are playing, I figure this will be a closer match-up than last time, but I do give the edge to the Cats, especially if Loginoff can continue his solid play from the last 2 games.

    • Crusader Whisper says:

      Missing from the last SI/Riordan game was Zac Masoli and Bobby Arenas for the Crusaders. Both should be playing tonight.

  11. spectator says:

    Urban has a load of losses, I dont believe they have proven much at all
    losses to Gateway and Lowell.. enough said

  12. anonymous says:

    i feel that there is something wrong with jiday he is not plaaying to his capablities and is getting verylimited run..Last year you could make an argument he was better than dunbar..but not even close this year..

  13. AAA fan says:

    I believe this is a excuse on the mission coach for losing a game that his team thought was supposed to win. Galileo hasn’t been playing with their starting shooting guard and second leading scorer so whats the excuse. Lets not forget that Gal beat University by 12 but that win isn’t going to mean anything because University didn’t play without their best player. Seems like excuses to me.

  14. Kezar for Keeps says:

    I’m surprised no one is commenting on jbalan’s decision to use Riordan’s record on the court, not with the forfeits.

    • Johnny Drama says:

      I believe that is irrelevant for this discussion. JB is doing it right. As an example, Riordan beat Balboa by alot. They forfeited that game so is Balboa better than Riordan? No so Riordan should be ranked higfher. This isn’t the BCS so I agree with his decision.

      • Anonymous says:

        agreed. as jbalan agreed with earlier, these rankings are “based on which team[s have] the most talent [and] who is performing well at the moment.” it’s not based on records which were effected by forfeits

  15. Bob the Builder says:

    si lost every game last week…and they move up?

  16. Hardware says:

    Urban recently defeated Lick and Stuart Hall, and very nearly beat Univeristy too. All three of those teams had pretty dominating wins over Gateway and Lowell in preseason. Teams can improve over the course of the season and that seems to be happening right now with the blues.

    Also I wouldn’t say that MA is necessarily the better team for besting UHS today, seems that most of the BCL teams are pretty evenly matched, and victory can simply go to the team who is more “on” on a particular day.

    • Anonymous says:

      urban is playing out of its mind right now. their catching breaks (lick being a horrible stretch and tim connolly being out for stuart hall) but their impressing. I still think they are the third best out of the teams you mentioned, lick, uhs, and stuart hall. Good point about the bcl being evenly matched I think that in uni’s system, they can be great for a stretch and then go cold. We’ll see how this plays out this friday vs. lick at oracle arena

  17. bballobserver says:

    Ever imagine that Urban could have attitude? Watch them play the game. Coach Skiff has them playing defense and physical. The core three are working together: Nate Cohen is among the best players running the game, Matt Monges shoots lights out and Julian Matulich is showing up in the middle. This team is fun to watch.

  18. JJ2 says:

    I have to disagree with a few things on these rankings…
    First of all… Mercy #2? They were undefeated until this week!
    Second off… International needs to get it together on the boards if they want to be considered #9…
    Finally Karly Cumersmide and Urban are way too solid to be left out of these rankings… Jenna Waldman and Charlotte Blanc down low… ridiculous
    My new rankings:
    1. Mercy
    2. SI (overrated though)
    3. University
    4. Urban
    5. Convent of the Sacred Heart
    6. Lick-Wilmerding
    7. International
    8. Sacred Heart
    9. Drew School
    10. Undecided

  19. JJ2 says:

    Lol… MY bad I thought these were the GIRLS RANKINGS!!! I’ll go comment over there… LOL

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